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MBA or business undergrad without business background?

anthemcoreanthemcore Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited September 2013 in California Colleges
I'm a humanities major in my senior year looking to move to Cali for personal reasons next year. I was looking into MBA programs because I need some practical skills to get myself hired, but I noticed a lot of MBA programs require work experience. Are those pre-MBA programs a good idea? CSU's programs don't seem to require work experience. My GPA is mediocre (3.0) so I'm not aiming for top schools (haven't taken GMAT yet though; maybe that can make up for the GPA). Not sure how limited my options are.

That said, if I lack the business background, would undergrad be a better option? Transfer credits for general education courses can probably knock it down to 3 years, and I can take care of the math requirement in the summer. Do you know of any schools I should look into within my GPA range, grad or undergrad?
Post edited by anthemcore on

Replies to: MBA or business undergrad without business background?

  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 4,943 Senior Member
    You can get business background with internships and even a job while you are going to school. Many CSUs have very credible MBA programs Sac State, Chico, SJSU are all respectable in N-Cal. If you really smoke the GMAT, take a shot at the more selective CSUs like SDSU and CalPoly SLO. Make them tell you no.

    Once you are in, soak it all in. You will learn a LOT and meet bright, motivated folks.

    It won't be like you went to Wharton right out of schol but, it doesn't sound like that's your expectation. As you mature, where you got your degree will matter less and less.

    I earned my MBA @ Sac State back in the dark ages. I have worked side by side with MBAs from Harvard, Wharton, UCB, UCD, UW, Notre Dame and many other top notch programs. Some were brighter than others. I have never felt my career restrained by my Sac State MBA.
  • anthemcoreanthemcore Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Okay, thanks. Is an MBA practical without work experience though? My course load is maxed out this year and I want to move in the summer, so it's a bit late for internships. Maybe a year in community college for the business/math prereqs and a job/internship wherever I can squeeze it in? I'll be an international student, though (from Canada). Dunno if the internship opportunities will be worse.

    I'm not opposed to going straight for the MBA but I really don't want to get rejected. Moving is actually a bigger issue at the moment than rushing into postgraduate school, assuming I can actually get in or get a job given my awkward situation.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,081 Senior Member
    I would not continue going to school to prep for an MBA program. I would WORK. Even if you can't get a great job, go do SOMETHING for a couple of years. Even take an unpaid internship and live with your parents if you have to... that would still be cheaper than going to school.

    You may not be opposed to going straight for the MBA, but the MBA programs are biased against that. Ideally they want people with some real live work experience and a bit of maturity. It doesn't have to be a big company job -- a job with a small company is fine, too.
  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 4,943 Senior Member
    I work for a big tech company and have interviewed many job candidates. Yes a straight through MBA can pay dividends and open doors. We hire interns and graduates from many CSU programs.

    It is true that most MBAs are designed for people with work experience. At the CSU level, you will find many students who go straight through. Many students will be working full time and taking a few classes each semester. Of course the mix varies by campus. The admissions officer will regulate that for you. If you get in, so did several others without work experience.

    You can take the 'foundation' or pre-req courses (accounting, finance, etc) as part of the program. It is probably cheaper to take them as an under-grad but, i'd bite the bullet and surround myself with MBA candiadates ASAP.

    I was thrilled to learn my alma mater, Sac State was just named the number 2 CSU part time MBA program. Go Hornets!
    Sacramento State - College of Business Administration

    As a practical matter, despite plans and desires, people in their mid-late 20s find it hard to leave a paying job and return to a starving student lifestyle. They meet someone, buy a nice car or house, maybe have a kid or two. This keeps a LOT of qualified candidates out of B-School. Going part time while pursuing a career is brutal - work all day, then head to a 3 hour class 2 days a week - plus group projects, etc. I tell interested parties go when and where you can. The door might be closed later.

    A second undergrad in a non-technical field like business is pointless. Get the advanced degree.

    Your residency status could be a big hurdle. If you apply as an international student, that could limit your ability to work. You'll want to get that sorted out ASAP.
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